Guest Column

Seven Ways New Jersey Business Owners Can Plan Ahead for Hurricane Season


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is calling for an above average hurricane season in 2017. Five tropical storms have already developed this year, including Tropical Storm Emily, which damaged businesses in Florida.

As the height of hurricane season approaches, is your business prepared for power outages, flooding, property damage, lost work time and more?  The longer your business is not operating, the more likely you are to lose customers permanently to your competitors; in fact, up to 40% of small businesses never re-open after a disaster. 

No one wants to consider these misfortunes happening to their business, but with advance planning, businesses will be in a much better position to survive a natural disaster. The New Jersey Business Action Center has seven strategies to help small businesses ride out the next big storm:

Sign Up for E-News


1.    House documents on the cloud, not your office computer:  Most businesses keep on-site records and files that are essential to normal operations. To reduce your vulnerability, determine which records, files, and materials are most important, and back them up. These may include income tax forms, accounting software files, customer contact lists, insurance policies, strategy documents and passwords. From there, save these files on the cloud so you can access them from anywhere. 

2.    Keep office property secure:  Raise computers above the flood level and move them away from large windows; move heavy and fragile objects to low shelves, and secure equipment that could move or fall during a heavy storm. In addition, hire a cyber security expert to make sure your systems are secure and virus free.  Protect your most important documents, credit card numbers, email correspondence and more by hiring an expert to set up a secure system well in advance.

3.    Plan for business continuity:  Establish a clear plan for decision-making if you or your business partners are incapacitated. Ensure passwords as well as keys, alarm codes, phone forwarding, etc., are provided to trusted employees in the event of a disaster. Consider financial obligations you will have during interruption, such as payroll and debt service, and ensure a system is in place to pay bills electronically. Establish a social media presence for your business and use it to communicate with your customers and suppliers about your business’ status. 

4.  Make sure your insurance is current:  Review your commercial insurance coverage with an agent or your insurance center; specifically check the status of your business’s interruption insurance. If disaster occurs, you can file a business interruption insurance claim detailing any lost income.  For insurance and tax purposes, be sure to maintain written and photographic inventories of all important materials and equipment, and store in a safety deposit box if possible. 

5. Consider installing an emergency generator:  Powerful storms may cause power disruption and leave your business vulnerable. Even businesses that are not severely damaged by a storm can suffer losses because of the interruption of normal operations or the loss of perishable stock. Back-up power generation will help protect your data, your perishable inventory and speed the process of getting your business back up and running.

6. Identify a backup location: If the primary location of your business is destroyed or severely damaged, you should identify a backup destination where employees can congregate and clients can visit. This will help create a sense of normalcy and ensure clients that all is well. Backup locations could range from a local coffee shop to a large garage or dry basement with Wi-Fi access.  

7. Don’t forget simple planning: Sometimes the simplest emergency plans are the most effective. Always have extra sets of batteries for when power goes out and critical electronics need to be kept running. Important files should have a written backup somewhere in a safe and secure location like a safe or metal filing cabinet. Have a disaster supply kit handy that includes a battery-powered radio to access National Weather Service information, a battery-powered electronic device charger, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, flashlights, extra batteries, waterproof plastic bags and more. 

Although we can’t prevent man-made or natural disasters, business owners can take proactive measures to minimize disruption and reduce loss so you can return to normal operations as soon as possible.


The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Holmdel & Colts Neck

Upcoming Events


Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

Two River Theater , Red Bank

American Repertory Ballet at Two River Theater

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, March 25, 9:00 AM

Temple Shalom, Aberdeen

Community Blood Drive

Health & Wellness


Sat, March 31, 10:00 AM

Cross Farm Park, Holmdel

Eggstravaganza at Cross Farm

Arts & Entertainment

Vaping: A Public Presentation in Holmdel

March 22, 2018

HOLMDEL, N.J. - Holmdel Parents & Guardians Please join  us  for… “The  Smoke Screen” What  our  parents  and  kids  need  to  know  about  Vapes,  Ecigs,  and  Cloud Pens. Presented  by  Doug  S. Collier,  M.A., DEA,  (Ret.) DATE:  Wednesday , March  28,  2018 ...

Holmdel High School Project Graduation: Business Sponsorships Needed

HOLMDEL, N.J. - Holmdel High School Project Graduation has been a tradition for our seniors for over 25 years, and we are hoping that you will consider contributing to this important annual event.

The first 'Project Graduation' began in Maine in 1979. Seven students from one high school lost their lives after their graduation ceremony as a result of driving while intoxicated.

In an ...

Holmdel Recreation Needs Assessment

HOLMDEL, N.J. - March 16, 2018 On March 13 th  the Recreation Needs Assessment Township Committee Meeting. Township  wide survey, public open houses,  report was presented by T & M Associates at  This report, which has been  and stakeholder a culmination of data gathering, a  the interviews, can be found on the Township website, Mayor ...

Recipe of the Week from Delicious Orchards

March 23, 2018


1 pkg. (16 oz.) farfalle pasta
2 cups broccoli florets
3 boneless, skinless chicken 
  breasts, cooked and cubed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 bottle (16 oz.) DO Italian
  salad dressing
4 oz. white cheddar cheese, cubed
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
½ red onion, chopped

Cook pasta as directed on ...


Sep 1, 1941 - Mar 13, 2018
Barbara A. Higgins, 76, Hazlet, passed away peacefully, Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Barbara was ...
Read more
- Mar 11, 2018
R. Bruce Phillips (79), retired Chief of Police, Holmdel Township Police Department, passed away ...
Read more